In a recent survey conducted by Bumpadum, laundry was identified as the biggest challenge that existing users of cloth diapers faced. It was also quoted as the biggest reason for parents not to move to cloth diapers. So let's bust some myths around laundry!
Myth 1 : You need to do laundry one or more times a day with cloth diapers
Totally unnecessary. There are many cloth diapering parents who do laundry once in 2-3 days, depending on how many cloth diapers they have. Just store used diapers in an open dry bucket or a closed wetbag and you don't need to worry about them until laundry time. Of course, if the diaper is pooped in, make sure to knock the solids into the toilet first and use a health faucet/diaper sprayer to ensure there is no poop left on the diaper.
Myth 2 : Cloth diapers need to be washed by hand to get them totally clean
Again, totally untrue. Cloth diapers can be washed by washing machine or by hand, depending on your preference. They can even be added into a load of regular clothes that are being washed in the machine. In this case, just ensure that you rinse the cloth diapers separately before adding in the remaining clothes.
Myth 3 : Washing cloth diapers is gross/messy
Mess is caused by poopy diapers. Since you flush all poop into the toilet before storing, you do not encounter mess during washing at all.
Now that we have busted some myths, let's talk about the ideal way to wash cloth diapers.
1) What do you do after taking off a diaper?
For poopy diapers, knock the solids into the toilet and flush. Use a diaper sprayer/health faucet (the sprayer next to most western toilets in India) to spray water thoroughly on the inside of the diaper to ensure all poop is washed out. If done right, your hands will remain clean and dry at the end of this process :)
Store all diapers in dry open bucket or a closed wetbag. A wetbag is made of the same waterproof breathable material that the outer layer of your diaper is made of and ensures that diapers inside remain ventilated while keeping any liquid in. Some parents also rinse used diapers in water before storing.
2) What do you do before washing?
If you are washing by machine, start with a rinsing cycle - this ensures that any pee is first rinsed off before detergent is added to clean the diapers. If you are washing by hand, first rinse in a bucket of water. Rinse only with cold water.
If you rinse the diapers before storing, you can skip this step.
3) How do you wash the diapers?
Essentially, you need to wash the diapers in a way that will leave them thoroughly clean without any remnant pee/detergent on them. Remnant pee will cause the diapers to stink after a few days of use. Remnant detergent will cause the diaper to not absorb well. Use an enzyme-free, fragrance-free detergent in order to preserve the waterproof layer.
Here are a few guidelines that will help you get the diapers totally clean.
- Detergent: Use enough detergent that you would use for a soiled/very dirty load of normal clothes.
- Hot water: Washing with hot water helps the detergent clean better. The water temperature should not exceed 60 degrees Celsius in order to preserve the waterproof layer. However, if you cannot wash with hot water, you could soak in detergent for 30 mins before washing.
- Rinsing: Ensure you rinse the diapers well after washing to remove any remnant detergent. This may mean adding an extra rinse step in your regular washing cycle.
4) How do you dry the diapers?
Line drying in the sun is best. Sunning also fades away any stains. You can also tumble dry the inserts like regular clothes.
This should cover 99% of all laundry issues you may face. If you have very hard water, you may need a couple of extra guidelines, click here to find out more.
Leave a comment if you have faced any other laundry problems, we would love to help you out!